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Medical drug drop at fire department on Saturday

Published: Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012 11:53 a.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012 11:54 a.m. CDT

For the third year in a row, a medical drug drop will be at the Newton Fire Department from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. The drop will allow individuals to bring unused or expired prescription and over-the-counter medications along with pet medications, vitamins, supplements, lotions, creams and controlled substances for disposal. There will be a large secure container and the items can be dropped off with no questions asked. Law enforcement will provide security at the drop.

The drug drop has become so popular that it is now offered twice a year. In November 2011 and April 2012, the drops collected 135 pounds of medications.

A large part of the drop centers on education. Addictions to prescription medications are on the rise throughout the country, and Iowa is no exception.

“Here in Jasper County, 7 percent of our 11th graders have used prescription drugs illegally in the last 30 days,” said Prevention Specialist Bill Wright of Employee & Family Resources. “Seventy percent of prescription medication abusers report getting their medications from friends and family. Oftentimes these medications are old or left over medications that people forget about or don’t know how to get rid of. Flushing medications are causing contamination of our ground water. This gives individuals an option to dispose of their medications.”

Employee & Family Resources, the Newton Fire Department, the Jasper County Sheriff’s Office, the Newton Police Department and volunteers from Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Iowa and the Pregnancy Center of Central Iowa have once again partnered up to provide Saturday’s drug drop.

“Traveling throughout Jasper County, I have heard over and over that we need more of these drops,” Wright said. “Most medication can still be turned back in to pharmacies, but this also gives the opportunity to dispose of medical narcotics, which under current law, the pharmacies are unable to dispose of.”

For more information on the drug drop, call Bill Wright at Employee & Family Resources at (515) 471-2396.

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